cascade after
The cascade water feature adds color and interest to the patio, inviting one to linger a little longer.

Easy To Build Planter Cascade

before planter cascade space
The corner of an ordinary patio lacks life and vitality and is the perfect place for our planter cascade.

Like me you always say “Yes, I can do that one!” but never get around to doing it. Well you are in luck as I built this one in just a few hours and it looks great! Just follow my easy steps below.

Small patio features often benefit from the addition of potted plants. This planter cascade is no exception, and look-alike planters have been used to contain both water and plants. Although the containers may be made of various materials, they should be geometric and regular in shape. Sizes may be different to those illustrated, provided they fit together attractively. Those which hold water must be absolutely waterproof, while the planted containers should have holes for drainage.


4 x troughs 600 mm x 600 mm x 200mm (2ft x 2ft x 8in)
2 x planters 380 mm x 380 mm x 380 mm (1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in)
2 x planters 380 mm x 380 mm x 580 mm (1 ft 3 in x 1 ft 3 in x 2 ft)
48 bricks
1 x 200 mm
x 12 mm (8 in x ½ in) semi-rigid tubing
1 x 1.5 m x 10 mm (5 ft x ⅜ in) flexible tubing
5 x 100 mm x 16 mm (4 in x ⅝ in) rigid PVC pipe
1 x submersible pump, with 1.4 m (4 ft 6 in) water head


Step 1.

Seal the drainage holes in three of the troughs with a two-part epoxy putty.

Step 2.

Trim the ends of the PVC pipe at an angle to form an angled spout for the planter cascade. Give the rough edges a light sanding.

Step 3.

To accommodate the pipe, you will need to drill holes in two of the sealed troughs, 25 mm (1 in) below the rim and at 200 mm (8 in) centers apart. In the fourth trough (which is to be used as a planter at the top), drill one central hole for the PVC spout. Presuming you are using PVC with a 16 mm (⅝ in) bore, all these holes should be about 20 mm (¾ in) in diameter.

epoxy pipes
Step 4.

Step 4.

Position the five pieces of pipe in the holes and secure with epoxy putty. Important! Make sure the spouts of your planter cascade are all level or the water will not flow through evenly.

Step 5.

When the putty is dry, you can paint the troughs if you wish. Decorate the planters at the same time. Here Penny did a few stencils on the front and sides.

Installation Of The Planter Cascade

place bricks
Step 6.

Step 6.

Place the loose bricks as indicated (in the picture above) to provide a stepped support for the troughs. If you are using containers with different dimensions, this arrangement will have to be altered. Make sure the bricks are secure and level.

stack troughs
Step 7.

Step 7.

Now you can position the water troughs on the bricks, with the container without any spouts on the ground. Use a spirit level lengthwise on each one (see picture above) to ensure they are level. It is easier to make adjustments now than when they are full of water.

Fitting the pump

connect pump pipes
Step 8.

Step 8.

You will probably need to drill a 16 mm (⅜ in) hole in the bottom of the top trough so that you can push the semi-rigid tubing through it and into the top spout. Join the other end to the flexible tubing, which is, in turn, attached to the pump.

Step 9.

When you position the top trough, make sure the tubing falls through the gap in the bricks so that you can lead it out through one side. Position and install the pump in the bottom trough.

Finishing off

Step 10.

Now you can position the planters on theb, with the highest two at the back. Once they are planted, you will be unlikely to notice the tubing.

Step 11.

Fill the troughs with water and plug the pump into a suitably waterproofed outdoor socket, or into the nearest indoor socket. Switch on the power and enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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